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Why We Don’t Let People Get Too Close

Why We Don't Let People Get Too Close
image courtesy of Joanne Mara

Peter Told Jesus to Leave Him

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” – Luke 5:8

Today as I was reading I was stopped at this passage. Jesus is cool to hang around when he is telling inspirational messages and doing amazing things, but when He starts taking a personal interest in us, we get nervous. Peter didn’t mind letting Jesus in the boat, it made him feel important. He didn’t like the extra work throwing the nets in again, but he guessed that was a small price to pay to be around someone important. Maybe Jesus wanted a fresh fish.

The part that scared Peter was that when he started to benefit from his association with Jesus. The benefit increased his desire to be around Jesus. However that same desire to be around Jesus arose the fear that Jesus would find out who he was. Peter was a fisherman not one of the religious people. Obviously Jesus hadn’t found out just how bad he was.

A Chinese Student Runs Away

There is parable by Han Fei Zi from Chinese literature. It tells of a King Xuan of Qi who liked hearing musicians playing the yu, a wind instrument with reed. He liked it so much that whenever he requested them to play, he will have three hundred of them playing together. Knowing this, a student applied for a job. The king accepted and paid him the same salary as the others.

After the death of King Xuan, King Min became the ruler of Qi. He also liked hearing musicians playing the yu. However, whenever he requested them to play, he wanted them to play solo. This same student fled. In a crowd it is easy to hide our deficiencies.

Foster Kids That Act Out

This is a similar story that you hear with people who foster kids. A family agrees to take in a child who has been in the foster care system. The child comes to them on his or her best behavior. After some time passes, everything has been going pretty well, and then the child starts to act out. Having been conditioned to rejection, the child starts to push the foster parents away.

This is a blanket statement, but several of these kids assume rejection is coming again. To do their best to fit in and still get rejected is too hard to handle, so they act out to give reason to the upcoming rejection. We all do this same thing in our own ways.

Why We Don’t Let People Get Too Close

We have all been Christians long enough to know what is expected. We know those things we do or think that are labeled as sin. Sure we confess them to God, but what is the point of letting other people know about them? We have confessed; we are forgiven; let’s move on.

The problem is we don’t really know if we’ve been forgiven. We still feel as if other people would reject us if they found out our little secrets. Since this fear feels true, we don’t know if we really can trust the love we receive from others because we know we haven’t told them everything. Their love is important to us, as it should be, so we hide things we think would break down the relationship.

The Areas We Hide Hinder Our Growth

These parts of ourselves that we allow to remain hidden are areas that will hinder our progress with God. Although we may have confessed these things with Him, He intends us to feel His acceptance through the eyes of others in the body of Christ.

The past few blogs posts have been on the importance of you and the importance of believing in yourself. We can’t move toward the greatness God put in us if we are actively trying to hide the areas we see in ourselves which we don’t like. Let us develop those relationships with whom we will risk being frightfully honest, so the love of God can pour over us with His deep healing. You are better than you think, but you will never believe it hiding areas you don’t like.

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